We’re reading a lot of industry reports this week that are warning Congress about the potentially damaging implications that could follow a repeal of the ACA if it is not accompanied by a replacement. If you thought healthcare politics were intense when Congress first debated the law in 2009/10, just wait until Congress starts working on its repeal!
The American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leadership with a report warning of the consequences of an ACA repeal on hospitals, noting “Losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained and will adversely impact patients’ access to care, decimate hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide services, weaken local economies that hospitals help sustain and grow, and result in massive job losses.”
AHIP CEO Marilyn Tavenner warned that there could be a mass exodus of insurers from the marketplaces if subsidized coverage goes away as part of the reconciliation plan, and said that insurers have “no desire to return to the time before the law was passed.”
The American Academy of Actuaries sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan warning of the potential to destabilize the individual insurance market if repeal is not followed immediately with a replacement, writing that it would cause, “the risk pools to deteriorate and premiums to become less affordable.”
A new Urban Institute report claims that ACA repeal without an accompanying replacement plan would result in significant market disruption, place very large increases in demand for uncompensated care on state and local governments and providers, and double the uninsured rate by 2019 with 82% of the newly uninsured coming from working families.
While Republicans can repeal parts of the ACA without the help of a single Democrat, they can’t implement a replacement without at least eight Senate Democrats (assuming no Republicans defect over the plan compromising too much with Democrats). And incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made it clear that it won’t be easy, saying “The odds, after they repeal without any replacement, of us sitting at the table to do something that will chop one arm off instead of two is very small.”
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released Reconciliation 101, a guide to how the process works and how it could be used to do a piecemeal repeal of certain parts of the ACA.
The New York Times published this short interactive graphic explaining why it will be hard for Republicans to make good on their promise to completely repeal and replace the ACA.
This piece from Health Affairs gives five reasons why the promise to repeal and replace will be difficult, if not impossible, to make good on.
The ACA Times reminds us with a post that employers will still be on the hook for ACA reporting requirements until legislation is signed into law and becomes effective to do otherwise.
Politico writes this week how the 21st Century Cures Act came to passage following a crucial two-hour meeting in March with Vice President Joe Biden, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton and leadership from both the House and Senate’s healthcare committees.
We’re mourning the loss of American icon John Glenn, who served 24 years in the U.S. Senate representing his native Ohio. But if you really want to know the man, you should read about the woman who stood at his side from the time they met at age two.